The Art Deco era was a glamorous time for evening gowns that were elegantly designed in the latest style movement of the 20s, 30s and 40s. Art deco fashion introduced geometric shapes and long lines, bias cut dresses, and exaggerated accessories. Black, gold, and silver with pops of blue, orange, and yellow created the Art Deco fashion color palette. Art Deco dresses are back in style today. Usually worn as evening gowns, Art Deco dresses are long, beaded or sequin embellished, some with fringe and others inspired by flappers and classic Old Hollywood glamour. Backless dresses and cape gowns are perfect for Art Deco themed events, weddings, bridesmaid dresses and fancy cocktail parties. Read more about Art Deco fashion at the end of the page.
We searched online and found many elegant Art Deco dress styles inspired by the roaring 20s, elegant 30s, and refined 40s. Click to see more colors options and regular, petite and plus size Art Deco dresses on the merchnats website.
Art Deco Dress
Art Deco Fashion Characteristics
- Designers: Jeanne Lanvin, Goncharova, Sonia Delaunay, Coco Chanel
- Colors: Black, gold, silver, white
- Textures: Shiny silk and satin. Embellished with diamonds, crystal, rhinestones, pearl
- Shapes: Geometry, Cubism, automobiles, architecture. Russian, African, Eastern Asian prints.
The Art Deco era is associated with the advancements of modern times and the machine age. The new industrial and urban landscape introduced metallic color and simple ergonomic lines of machinery made into automobiles, train, planes and cruise ships. Cityscapes, Art Deco architecture, and the New York skyline were popular textile prints. These translated into new fashions that began with the early flapper look. Long and short dresses were styled to add length like a tall building. Dress colors were long, neckties draped to the waist, narrow pleats shaped skirt, and belts were thin. Dresses were embellished with embroidery, beading, and appliques in new geometric inspired designs. Circles, rectangles, triangles, and vertical lines created refreshing decorations compared to the romantic, ruffled, lacey, floral design of the previous movement.
As the Art Deco era moved into the 30s hemlines dropped to the knee and floor and the new bais cut was utilized. The bias cut created a shape that formed around the body and then flared out. The 30s were less about ornamenting plain dresses than they were about draping clothing into lifesize geometric shapes. From neck to toes Art deco gowns graced the dance floor in shimmering columns with capes, flounces, folds and gathers that created airy movement. The look was even longer and leaner than the 20s.
Art deco fashion continued into the 40s although most sources seem to forget that fact. Yes, the war was on, but art deco art was at its peak. In fashion, the soft draping turned into sculptural forms manipulating a dress into wearable statues. Stiff taffeta fabrics replace draped chiffon. Dresses took on a masculine form with a suit like top and A-line skirt. Peplums and asymmetrical folds added to the dresses’ architecture. In daywear, Art Deco accessories jazzed up plain and practical dresses. Belt buckles and brooches were opportunities to display Art Deco art at an affordable cost.